Page:A Dictionary of Music and Musicians vol 1.djvu/654

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GYROWETZ.
GUZLA.

GUZLA. A kind of rebab, a bow instrument with one string only, used in Illyria. The name was adopted by Prosper Merimeé as the title of his Servian poems.

[ G. ]

GYE, Frederick. [See Royal Ital. Opera.]

GYMNASE DE MUSIQUE MILITAIRE. A school for educating musicians for the French military bands, founded in 1836 under the directorship of F. Berr, who died Sept. 24, 1838. Finding himself unable to carry out his views in the new school, he detailed them in a pamphlet, 'De la nécessité de reconstituer sur de nouvelles bases le Gymnase de musique militaire' (Paris 1832). Carafa succeeded Berr, and under him the Gymnase moved to the Rue Blanche, and attained to considerable dimensions, giving a complete musical education from solfeggio to counterpoint to nearly 300 pupils. It was suppressed in 1856, but it was agreed between the Ministres d'État and de la Guerre that 50 military pupils should be taught at the Conservatoire; and for these the masters of the Gymnase were retained. This arrangement has since terminated, but the examinations for conductors and subconductors of regimental bands are still held at the Conservatoire.

[ G. C. ]

GYROWETZ, Adalbert, prolific composer, born Feb. 19, 1763, at Budweis in Bohemia. His father was a choir-master, and taught him music at an early age; and on leaving school he studied law at Prague, though still working hard at music and composing much. A long illness left him destitute, and compelled him to take the post of private secretary to Count Franz von Fünfkirchen. The Count insisted on all his household being musical, so Gyrowetz had abundant opportunity not only of composing, but of having his compositions performed. The reception they met with induced him to visit Italy, and complete his education there. Passing through Vienna he made the acquaintance of Mozart, who had one of his symphonies performed, and himself led Gyrowetz before the applauding audience. In Naples he studied for two years under Sala, maintaining himself by his compositions, among which were a number of concerted pieces for the lyre, written for the king, with whom it was a favourite instrument. He next went to Paris, and established his claim to the authorship of several symphonies, hitherto performed as Haydn's. In consequence the publishers bought his other compositions at high prices. The Revolution was rapidly approaching, and Gyrowetz went on to London, arriving in Oct. 1789. His reception was an honourable one; both the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cumberland paid him marked attention; the Professional Concerts and Salomon placed his name in their programmes, and the latter engaged him as composer at the same time with Haydn. He wrote industriously and met with liberal publishers; but he was most pleased by the arrival of Haydn, whom he warmly welcomed. Gyrowetz was also engaged to write an opera, in which Mme. Mara and Pacchierotti were to have sung at the Pantheon, then recently turned into an opera-house during the rebuilding of the King's Theatre. After 2 or 3 rehearsals however the Pantheon was burnt down (Jan. 13th, 1792), and the score of 'Semiramis' perished in the flames. On the 9th of February he gave a benefit concert at the Hanover Square Rooms, which was brilliantly attended; but the climate disagreed with him, and he shortly after left London for Vienna. On his return, after 7 years, he received an appointment in the War Department. In 1804 Baron Braun, Intendant of the two court theatres, offered him the Capellmeistership, which he retained till 1831, producing a great number of operas, Singspiele, and operettas, besides music for melodramas and ballets. Gyrowetz was wonderfully industrious in all branches of composition, and his works, though now forgotten, were long popular. His symphonies and quartets were successful imitations of Haydn's, but still they were imitations, and were therefore bound to disappear. In 1843 his artist friends, pitying the poverty to which he was reduced—for his pension afforded him a bare subsistence—arranged a concert for his benefit, at which his 'Dorfschule' was played by Staudigl and the choristers. This really comic cantata was repeated with great success in the following year at the last concert he himself ever arranged. Shortly before his death he published his autobiography, an interesting book in many respects (Vienna, 1847).

Gyrowetz composed about 30 operas large and small, operettas, and Singspiele; and more than 40 ballets. His first opera was 'Selico' (1804). The most successful have been 'Agnes Sorel' (1806); 'Der Augenarzt' (1811); 'Die Prüfung' (1813), approved by Beethoven himself; 'Helene' (1816), and 'Felix und Adele' (1831). Of his operettas and Singspiele, generally in one act, 'Die Junggesellen Wirthschaft,' 'Der Sammtrock,' 'Aladin,' and 'Das Ständchen' were long favourites; of the melodramas 'Mirina' (1806) was most liked. Besides 'Semiramis,' he wrote four grand Italian operas for Vienna and Milan, of which 'Federica e Adolfo' (Vienna 1812) was especially well received. 'Die Hochzeit der Thetis' was his most successful ballet. He composed cantatas, choruses for women's and boys' voices, Italian and German canzonets, and several songs for one and more voices. He wrote his 19th mass at the age of 84. Of his instrumental music there are over 60 symphonies, a quantity of serenades, overtures, marches, dance-music (for the Redoutensaal); quintets; and about 60 string-quartets, most of them published in Vienna, Augsburg, Offenbach, Paris or London. For the pianoforte he wrote about 40 sonatas, 30 books of trios, 12 Nocturnes, much dance-music, and many smaller pieces of different kinds. It is sad to think of so much labour, energy, and talent, and so little lasting fruit; but Gyrowetz possessed that fatal gift of facility which so often implies the want of permanence. None of his works, either for the concert-room or the stage have survived. 'Der Augenarzt' kept the boards longer than the others. He died at Vienna March 19, 1850, aged 87.

[ C. F. P. ]